Sunday, May 12, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 11, 2019

Here's what sold at Boswell last week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Farm, by Joanne Ramos
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. The Flight Portfolio, by Julie Orringer
4. The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake
5. Circe, by Madeline Miller
6. The Island of Sea Women, by Lisa See
7. Spring (V3), by Ali Smith
8. Exhalation, by Ted Chiang
9. Lost Roses, by Martha Hall Kelly
10. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, by Juliet Grames

Our buyer Jason is a big fan ("amazing and heart-rendering") of Julie Orringer's The Flight Portfolio, her long-awaited follow-up to The Invisible Bridge. It's a historical novel inspired the life of Varian Fry, an American journalist who helped run a network that helped Jews and other refugees escape from Nazi Germany. Cynthia Ozick wrote about the novel in The New York Times Book Review, who wrote: "If the young Varian Fry once resembled a type of dramatically evolving character in fiction, he has now become, in Julie Orringer’s sympathetic and prodigiously ambitious novel, a fictional character himself."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. What it Takes, by Raegan Moya-Jones 2. Bailey, No Ordinary Cat, by Erin Merrin
3. A Craftman's Legacy, by Eric Gorges
4. Nanaville, by Anna Quindlen
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
7. The Pioneers, by David McCullough
8. Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl
9. The Matriarch, by Susan Page
10. The Furious Hours, by Casey Cep

It's Mother's Day and that means, here come the books that work well not just for moms but for Dads too (as Father's Day is in five weeks). One newcomer is David McCullough's latest, The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, and hey, it's about the Northwest Territory, which includes Wisconsin. In this Smithsonian interview, McCullough notes his inspiration was born of a commencement address at Ohio University (in Athens).

Paperback Fiction:
1. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy (event at Tippecanoe Library, Mon May 13, 6 pm)
2. The Gown, by Jennifer Robson
3. The House of Broken Angels, by Louis Alberto Urrea
4. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. The Milkman, by Anna Burns
8. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
9. There There, by Tommy Orange
10. The Widows of Malabar Hill (V1), by Sujata Massey (event at Boswell Tue May 21, 7 pm)

Several award-winning titles are in this week's top 10. The Overstory received the Pulitzer Prize, The Milkman won both the Man Booker and the National Book Critics Circle Award, There, There also had a double dose of awardness, winning the PEN/Hemingway and John Leonard Prizes. Add to that Paris by the Book, just was named winner of the Council for Wisconsin Writers Edna Ferber Prize, and The Widows of Malabar Hill, which was received the Mary Higgins Clark Award at the Edgars. And prize season isn't over yet! And a thank you to Vintage, for keeping Tommy Orange's jacket in paperback.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Keep Going, by Austin Kleon
2. The Mueller Report, by US Department of Justice and the Washington Post (Scribner)
3. Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon
4. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
5. Sisters First, by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush Pierce
6. The Mueller Report, by US Department of Justice (Melville)
7. The Milwaukee Anthology, edited by Justin Kern
8. The Brisket Chronicles, by Steven Raichlen (event 5/20 sold out)
9. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
10. 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die, second edition, by Jenna Kashou

It's getting towards summer and that means an increase in regional titles, as more people stop by to get Milwaukee keepsakes. This week we've got three - The Milwaukee Anthology and 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die, now in its second edition by Jenna Kashou - the first edition was from Jennifer Posh. In fiction, there's Milwaukee Noir. The contributors will be at Tippecanoe Library on Monday.

Books for Kids:
1. Fables, by Arnold Lobel
2. Luigi and the Barefoot Races, by Dan Paley, illustrations by Aaron Boyd
3. Oh the Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss
4. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef
5. The Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal, by Jeff Kinney
6. Babu's Song, by Stephanie Stuve, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
7. The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis, by Jim Haskins, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
8. If I Was the Sunshine, by Julie Fogliano, with illustrations by Loren Long
9. Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, by Pamela Cameron, with illustrations by Renée Graef
10. Who Lives Where, by Stephanie Babin, with illustrations by Kiko

Hey, a new hardcover picture book debuts this week with If I Was the Sunshine, from Julie Fogliano and Loren Long. Kirkus writes: "Younger readers will wrap themselves in Long's art while older kids strive to parse the meaning behind each of these gentle rhymes.Gentle on ear and eye, a keen display of relationships bound together in love and complexity." And from Publishers Weekly: "Elements of the landscape (the mountains, the ocean) and the creatures that inhabit it (bear cubs, squirrels) are seen interacting in ways that mirror the relationships described in the poem. The word love never appears in Fogliano's text, but it can be felt on every page."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Kerry Lengel interviews E.L. James, whose new novel is The Mister. Originally from the Arizona Republic comes James talking about her influences: "I used to love reading a good historical romance, and this book is kind of a homage to all of those writers that I read. And they’re generally American, actually, people like Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught and Catherine Coulter and Brenda Joyce and Laura Kinsale, all of these extraordinary romance writers who have a huge body of work."

Steph Cha (USA Today) reviews Jennifer Cody Epstein's Wunderland, novel about two girls in 1930s Germany. It was People Magazine's Book of the Week: "The title of this searing account of life in Nazi Germany alludes to Alice’s Adventures—and the surreal feeling of watching what you thought was true exposed as false...Inspired by the memoir of a Hitler Youth member, it’s a heartbreaking page-turner."

Tembi Locke's From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home is reviewed by Kim Curtis (Associated Press). This cross-cultural love story is another story of finding love amidst the food and romanticism of Europe (well, France and Italy): "Yes, the literary debut from the Houston-born actress is the no-longer - unique combination of travelogue, recipe book and love story. And, yes, it’s primarily set in Sicily." But Curtis goes on to note that as Locke is a Black woman building a career as an actress, she has a different spin on many of the other memoirs.  Read the rest in the Racine Journal Times.

No comments: